Dublin PR firm paid €1m div­i­dend to share­hold­ers

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - Donal O’Dono­van

BRI­TAIN’S ac­count­ing watch­dog is in­ves­ti­gat­ing Grant Thorn­ton UK’s au­dit of cafe chain owner Patis­serie’s fi­nan­cial state­ments for 2015-2017, the lat­est ev­i­dence of in­creased scru­tiny of that coun­try’s lead­ing au­di­tors.

The Fi­nan­cial Re­port­ing Coun­cil said yes­ter­day it was also in­ves­ti­gat­ing the MUR­RAY CON­SUL­TANTS – whose pub­lic re­la­tions clients in­clude the Ref­er­en­dum Com­mis­sion, Dig­i­cel, Ardagh Group and Tesco Ire­land – has re­ported a 22pc rise in oper­at­ing prof­its to €1.4m for the year ended De­cem­ber 31, 2017.

Profit be­fore tax was €1.23m, and group turnover in­creased 6pc – to just over €5.5m in the year.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Pat Walsh said the busi­ness had ben­e­fited from in­vest­ment over pre­vi­ous years in new ar­eas in­clud­ing dig­i­tal and cre­ative ser­vices and a rise in clients’ brand and spon­sor­ship spend­ing.

“Our new busi­ness pipe­line was strong with no­table wins across re­tail, mo­tor, prop­erty and as­set man­age­ment. We an­tic­i­pate fur­ther mean­ing­ful growth in 2018 based on a strong per­for­mance year to date,” he said.

The com­pany paid a div­i­dend of €989,000 af­ter the 2017 year-end and is debt free, hav­ing paid down a €400,000 loan back in 2016. The busi­ness em­ploys 32 staff, ris­ing to 37 in­clud­ing “on­go­ing con­sul­tants”, Mur­ray said. Salary costs rose in “mid-sin­gle dig­its” to around €2.6m.

Mur­ray pro­vides strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vices to a blue chip client base of na­tional and in­ter­na­tional clients – in­clud­ing ad­vis­ing on stock mar­ket deals, merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions and re­struc­tur­ings.

Its con­sumer divi­sion, Mur­ray Brand, is ac­tive in food and re­tail, tech and fi­nance, life­style and beauty and mo­tor and prop­erty.

Mur­ray Cre­ative, a dig­i­tal and cre­ative divi­sion is a rel­a­tively new part of the busi­ness.

Patis­serie Va­lerie au­di­tor Grant Thorn­ton probed

prepa­ra­tion and ap­proval of Patis­serie’s fi­nan­cial state­ments and other fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion by the com­pany’s for­mer Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Christo­pher Marsh. Patis­serie has been rocked by an ac­count­ing scan­dal in re­cent weeks.Reuters

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